An excerpt from “Loving Jesus More" by Phil Ryken
What we think has a strong influence on what we feel. John Piper explains the connection like this: “Right thinking about God exists to serve right feelings for God.”2
If this is true, then loving Jesus with all our minds will help us love him in other ways, too. But how do we actually do that? What are some good ways to love Jesus with our minds as part of loving him with all we have?
The simplest and maybe the most important way is to use our minds to meditate on the words that Jesus speaks to us in Holy Scripture. In his book Discovering Lectio Divina, Jim Wilhoit describes the devotional reading of Scripture as “the reading of a lover”—“the relaxed waiting that is as attentive to the relationship as it is to the text.”3
If we ever wonder why we do not seem to love Jesus very much—at least not as much as we should—maybe this is one of the reasons why: we are not reading the Bible in one of the ways we should. We are reading it in worship services, perhaps, or reading it for a class or study group. We are reading the Bible for content and maybe for application, but not for a relationship.
If we want to love Jesus with all we have, we should read his Word the way a lover would, as a message from our beloved. Whenever we open our Bibles, we should pray, “Lord Jesus, I am not just here for these words; I am here for you, and for the love message you want to send from your heart to mine.” God has promised to meet us in his Word, which makes Bible-reading a place to rendezvous with our Savior. “So willing is he,” wrote Søren Kierkegaard about the infinitely loving God, “to become involved with a person that he has written love letters to us in his word, has proposed to us and said: come, come.”4 When we respond to this invitation, we are loving God with all our minds.
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2. John Piper and D. A. Carson, The Pastor as Scholar and the Scholar as Pastor: Reflections on Life and Ministry (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011), 50.
3. James C. Wilhoit and Evan B. Howard, Discovering Lectio Divina: Bringing Scripture into Ordinary Life (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2012), 61.
4. Søren Kierkegaard, quoted in Wilhoit and Howard, Discovering Lectio Divina, 32.
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